Hiring the right contractor can be time-consuming but is the success to your home improvement project. By choosing a good contractor and drawing up a proper contract, you can ensure that the work is done well and to your standards, an avoid payment problems. Here's is how to pick/hire a home improvement contractor for your project.
Ask family, friends, and coworkers who they recommend for a home improvement contractor. Great way is to post to social media sites and ask for recommendation or visit your local Chamber of Commerce. Most social media site will offer great discussions about a good or bad contractor. No matter what recommendation you use, it's best to go towards contractors who have been established in the community for some time.
Put a list together of contractors that you would like to consider for your project. Do a phone interview with the contractor. Make sure they are available in the time frame needed. See if they can handle the type and size of your project. Always ask if they will provide you with a list of references. Narrow your search down to three, and set up a face to face meeting. This is your chance to see how well you can communicate with the contractor (an important factor since you will be dealing with the contractor throughout the project). This meeting is your time to ask detailed questions about the contractor's business, experience, and your project.
Now is the time to get written bids with a cost breakdown of material and labor. Discuss how they came up with the price. A bid may be higher due to the usage of high grade material or using the help of a specialist to perform certain repairs. As a rule of thumb, throw out any bids that are significantly lower than the others. An extremely low bid is a sign that the contractor is using low-quality materials, cutting corners, or be desperate for work.
Investigate the Facts
Now is your time to review all the facts about the contractor and their business. Ask the contractor for their business license and double check with your state to verify that the license is up to date. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local consumer protection agency, and state license board to see if complaints were filed and how they were resolved. You should call the list of reference given. Or possibly visit a job site to see if the contractor is clean and how they take care of their surroundings. Get proof of insurance from the contractor. Be sure to check who the employee(s) will be that will be supervising the project. Find out how long they been with the company an ask if any complaints have been filed against the worker(s).
Always, always sign a written contract, no matter how small the job is. Taking time to write a solid contract is as important as hiring a good contractor. See our future blogs about writing up a solid contract.